How to Overcome the Fear of Not Being Liked

I’ve spoken to a few audiences in my lifetime, and I’ve experienced that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach as I’d anticipate standing in front of a room full of strangers, worrying about what they’d think of me and what I had to say. Sometimes I would feel the anxiety for days (or even weeks) before an event.

Thank heavens I hardly ever feel that way anymore. Nobody likes to feel anxious or worried about being around people or giving presentations. It’s not a fun feeling! It can be paralyzing, in fact. But at least in my case, I’ve identified a couple reasons why things got easier:

First of all, there is that “getting used to it” thing. Do something often enough, and the anxiety goes away, eventually. Even the most embarrassing moments can pale over time. (Like the moment when I spontaneously demonstrated my sweet Tari Piring skills at a convention where I spoke with 500 guests. You’re not supposed to do that arm thing with food on the plate, but I was trying to be clever. Naturally my pie flew off the plate in front of the directors’ table, aaaaand that’s all I’m going to say about that. One thing I can say is that the feeling of horror has indeed paled.)

Second of all, aside from practice and time passing, there is something else that can be done to immediately get past that self-conscious oh-my-heck-what-are-people-thinking-about-me-right-now feeling, and it has to do with the way YOU think. It’s a pretty cool trick for feeling more comfortable in social settings, and here’s how it works:

As you probably know, the thoughts and feelings you bring to a social gathering emit a kind of a “vibration” that people pick up on. If you’re cheerful, people like that. They enjoy being with other people that make them feel good. If you feel comfortable, people feel comfortable around you.

But what if you don’t know how to feel comfortable?

When you feel nervous around other people (whether it’s an individual or an audience), DON’T WORRY about whether or not they like you, because if you do, you can unconsciously cause the very thing you want to avoid. To entertain worry puts you into an awkward “negative vibration”, which can be a turnoff to those around you.

Instead, all you have to do is LIKE THEM first.

You can choose to like people—just find something to like about them—and by liking them, you emit a positive vibration that more naturally causes them to mirror the feeling back.

A magnetic personality is not achieved by being super cool, amazingly talented, or having sweet Tari Piring skills. It’s achieved by finding and showing appreciation for the qualities, strengths, and talents in those around you.

Keep this principle alive in your life and you will always have an abundance of friends. Besides, as you’ve probably heard before, what people think about you is really none of your business, and most people are too busy worrying about what other people think of them to be thinking about you, anyway

All of these concerns melt away when you’re focused on building up the people around you, and finding their admirable qualities.

Remember this key idea and you can be confident in a room full of strangers. I’ve been told that you should fuss about the way you look only while you’re preparing to be with people, but the minute you walk out the door, it’s no longer about you. Focus on the people around you and forget about yourself.

“Love your neighbor” (Matthew 22:37-39) is a timeless principle here well applied. Plant good seeds by following this advice, and you’ll more easily reap a harvest of good company (Gal 6:7-8).

Learn more about what your thoughts can do with MINDSET FUNDAMENTALS™ Originally published June 28, 2015

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Nix the Scorekeeping

If you’re married and working toward a goal, sometimes living the principles can be especially challenging because deep down you have certain expectations of what your spouse is supposed to be doing.

Heck, it can be hard enough achieving goals with all the lofty expectations of what YOU are supposed to be doing!

At one time I had to come to terms with the fact that I was in another one of those “temporary seasons of imbalance” and decided to just hunker down and get through it. My husband agreed, and was there to support me, filling in gaps wherever he could, rather than getting frustrated that there were gaps to be filled.

What an example. I have often struggled to reciprocate that same kind of support.

He and I run through life at a different pace. I’m a sprinter, while he’s a distance runner. I burn out, while he steadily plugs along. So there have been many, many times when our mutual goal setting efforts have ended in shipwreck.

I’ve pondered this dilemma deeply, because it’s common among many couples. I’ve seen more than one relationship crumble under the weight of such differences. Sometimes I think it’s a wonder that we’ve made it through those times with our marriage still in tact.

Marriage requires adjustments and compromises. It might even require unplanned course-changes, which is why it’s important to establish your priorities early with clarity and resoluteness.

I’ve abandoned goals that threatened to compromise my top priority: my marriage covenant. My husband has abandoned goals if they’ve put a strain on our relationship. I’m not saying that is good, bad, or indifferent; I’m just saying that when your values, priorities, and ideals are in stone, then decisions, sacrifices, and disappointments can eventually be resolved with greater serenity.

(I understand some marriages need to end. But that’s a topic for another day, and probably for someone more qualified to address.)

Marriage also requires patience, and an understanding that we all have ups and downs (Law of Rhythm). Most of the time, I was up while he was down, or I was down while he was up.

That’s life.

So in your marriage, even if you’re both working hard to learn and understand the laws of success, you’ll learn them and apply them at different paces and in different ways.

When you’re in the groove, your spouse may struggle. When you’re spouse is on a roll, you may struggle. How, then, can you succeed as a couple if you can’t seem to get it right at the same time?

Count your blessings if the above description sums up your relationship. The Law of Rhythm states that everything in life is cyclical. We will have up days and we’ll have down days. When you’re on an up, go ahead and get a whole bunch of stuff done! Take advantage.

When you’re down, go with it and let it serve its purpose (as described in Hidden Treasures), with an expectation that your turn for an up day is on its way.

Don’t allow yourself to feel frustrated when the two of you can’t seem to make quantum leaps forward together. It is GOOD that you’re on different tracks, because if you both were to crash at the same time, who’d be there to pick up the pieces?

Allow yourself to feel the joy that comes when you say, “It’s okay, you can have a down day, and I’ll carry the torch until you come around.”

Imagine how that would make your partner feel. You’ve just turned a frustration into a blessing, which is a key skill for building a mindset for success. The goals you strive for will continue to move toward you as you show compassion to your spouse in his or her valley, and refuse to keep score.

Take responsibility. The minute you begin to fume and fuss over what someone else is doing or not doing, you lose power. Instead of passing judgment, be grateful for his/her companionship, and the opportunity you have to grow through the experience.

Find the good. Think on the positive aspects of your spouse. Think and speak about the good things, and the good will grow. Don’t expect everything to be fixed overnight. Some of our challenges have taken ten, even twenty years to resolve. What kept us going was a common belief that we’d eventually figure it all out. Some days I wasn’t so sure, and on other days I’m certain he wasn’t so sure. But there has always been at least one of us believing, or when perhaps if we were ever both in doubt, we didn’t speak of it because failure was not an option.

Move forward with faith, and if you are struggling now because of a conflict with your spouse, count it a blessing (Law of Polarity) and start looking for the seed of equal or greater benefit contained in the adversity.

“Never let a problem to be solved” [or a goal to be achieved] “become more important than a person to be loved.” ~ Thomas S. Monson

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. You don’t ‘divi’ up the responsibilities and then critique your partner’s performance on his/her share. It’s a 100/100, or perhaps even a 110/110 proposition.

Do what you can do, even if it means sharing the other person’s load. Even if it means carrying the whole load for a while. Sometimes it may feel like 150/20. Maybe it feels that way most of the time. But if you try hard enough, and are willing to see it, I’ll bet you can remember at least once when it was 10/130. We all take turns, even if sometimes that turn goes on for years.

Whatever the numbers are, how you let yourself feel about carrying more than your “fair” share may well determine your future success. It also may very well determine how quickly things shift.

But if you begrudge the load, you rob yourself of the joy AND potential prosperity (monetary or otherwise) that is waiting for you on the other side of the adversity.

Remember, through natural law, God’s universe responds to the feelings you emit. So for now, try feeling grateful that you are able to help today. What if, for some reason, you couldn’t help, even if you wanted to?

Things could always be worse (Law of Relativity).

So don’t keep score. Inevitably, there will be a day when you are the one who needs to be carried. Serve with joy here and now, sacrifice whatever is necessary in the short term to make it work, and you’ll both reap great benefits soon enough.

Nag not. Be patient. Allow those you love to grow at their own pace. I know, it may delay the prize, but you may discover that the prize without your relationships in tact may not be a prize at all.

And if your spouse isn’t on board in the least with the things you’re learning, you can still prosper; you can still succeed. Have faith in God’s ability to show you how to achieve your dreams without compromising your values, even if you’re the only one who believes in them.

As Wendell Phillips said, “One, on God’s side, is a majority.”

Related: What if My Spouse Doesn’t Think Positive? Originally published March 13, 2007

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Meet Shantel McBride

Shantel McBride is one of our busiest Genius Bootcamp Facilitators. She loves Genius Bootcamp, and because of the quantum leaps it created in her life, she has been teaching what she’s learned ever since.

Outside of Genius Bootcamp, she also teaches other classes such as “Live Like You’re Dying”, “Ideal Life Vision”, “The Power of Words” and also offers personal mentoring.

At a time when I was running out of steam, Shantel showed up and became the wind beneath MY wings. She believed in my message, could personally vouch for its power, and has since been a strong driving force behind keeping the Genius Bootcamp project alive.

Shantel is a mover and a shaker. She hosts a show on K-Talk Radio called INSPIRED CONVERSATIONS, and is an in-demand coach and mentor.

Listen to her presentation at a TEDx event on the topic: “Live Like You’re Dying”. So powerful!

And of course, I should add, she continues to facilitate Genius Bootcamp trainings in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Mesa, Arizona.

Thanks for all you do, Shantel! You are certainly a force to be reckoned with!!

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